Letting your employees work from home can boost productivity levels and job satisfaction, but it also opens your business up to new risks that must be covered by your insurance policy.
Many small businesses offer the option to work from home permanently or even a few days a week to attract quality employees to their team. However, in doing so, most employers fail to see their employees’ homes are now an extension of their workplace and must comply with the same health and safety standards for insurance purposes.
Ensure your business is adequately covered by considering the following:
Your health and safety obligations
You have a duty of care to ensure your employees’ homes comply with the same health and safety requirements set out in your workplace. You must take step so far as is reasonably practicable. Perform a hazard assessment test and implement strategies and provide your employee with information about how they can set up their workstation ergonomically.
Your liability for worker’s compensation and future damages also extends to your employees who sustain a personal injury or psychological injury while working from home. Employee’s may also be entitled to compensation from disease by gradual process when working from home so ensure that air conditioning and ventilation systems are checked in your risk assessment.
Strategies for your business
Once you are aware of your obligations for those who work from home, it is vital you put strategies in place to protect your business and ensure the safety of your employees.
Purchasing insurance is one way you can protect your business should an employee or customer injure themselves during business activities while working from home. You are automatically covered under the Accident Cover Corporation’s (ACC) standard workplace covers as an employer who pays a mandatory work levy. Take out employers liability insurance to give you the extra protection that the ACC does not provide.
Work from home policy
Include a workplace health and safety checklist your employees should comply with when working from home. A code of conduct must also detail leave and absence reporting requirements, communication provisions for staff cooperation, contact availability, distinct working hours and a method for assessment of performance.